Monday, May 10, 2010

Losing it in the middle of Walmart-picking up the pieces 7 hours later

Thursday was an interesting day. As was probably evident by the oh so eloquent novel I wrote here.

Waterproof mascara and Milky Ways. Good Stuff.

For some reason Thursday morning was just hard. I was emotional. Let's blame pregnancy hormones, shall we? Probably pretty accurate. A friend of mine sent me a link to a blog of another friend of hers. A beautiful strong woman-who lost her baby boy in January when he was just a couple of months old. She is a wonderful writer and I found myself totally immersed in her posts. Also totally immersed in water works. I just couldn't stop the tears. My cute little Charlotte (21mo) sat on my lap hugging me and would occasionally look up and wipe a tear off my cheek. It was very sweet.

I did have a number of things I had to accomplish, so I got up and went about my day. And there I sat on my bedroom floor folding laundry, when I started crying again. Good times. It's been a while since I had a bad day where I just let everything come crashing down, so I figured I was due.
Also, morning sickness seems to have kicked back in, so I felt like garbage. Which was totally appropriate.

And then I got a text. "going to the hospital"

It was my sister. My almost 39 weeks pregnant sister. I was so glad for her that her little guy was arriving, praying that everything would go well and that she'd get the natural delivery she's been hoping and preparing for.

Which also made me cry again.

Which made me grateful I was not there as her doula, which we had talked about a couple of months ago. She said she'd call if she decided she needed my help. I would love so much to do that for her if she needed me, but knew that I just couldn't handle that at that moment.

Which made me cry more.

See a pattern?

I thought maybe getting out would help, and since I had to do a big Walmart run, I packed up the three youngest kids and headed out. Things were going pretty well, the kids were managing ok, and though I was having to work hard not to puke, we were making it.
My phone rang.
It was my sister, and I struggled with whether or not I would answer the phone. It was less than two hours after she had texted me that she was heading to the hospital.
I picked up the phone, standing there in the middle of Walmart, and heard that beautiful unbeatable sound of a newborn baby crying. He was here already! She announced his stats, told me everything went well, and I told her I'd call her back in a bit when I was home.
And guess what?

Yep. Right there in the pasta isle. I cried. I was trying with all my might not to vomit (gotta love the waves of nausea), trying not to dissolve into a puddle.

I earned a few very strange looks.

I was so happy for her, for her husband, for their sweet little baby boy. And just a little bit jealous too. And scared. What will my delivery be like? Will I even make it to term? Will my baby cry when he is born? It gets exhausting to have so many days where your mind just races like that.

I sucked it up enough to move on and get checked out.

After getting home I texted her back (not trusting myself to call), and we chatted a bit about the delivery and how things went. And then feeling particularly brave, I asked about coming to visit them at the hospital.

We made arrangements for me to visit that night.

I live over an hour away from where she delivered, so I had more than enough time to worry about how I would react when I got there. Would I even be able to do it? Would I just break down completely and make things awkward and uncomfortable for everyone?
I was so torn. I almost chickened out.

Walking in to the hospital I was shaking.
It was this hospital where I delivered three of my four sons.
How would I deal with that as I walked the halls of the maternity ward?

The elevator arrived at the fourth floor and the moment of truth right along with it. I made it down the hall to check in at the visitor's desk. Wow-the entire place has been remodeled. That helped-it didn't feel familiar.
I turned the hallway to ask the nurses for directions to her room. So far so good.

And then I walked past the big open windows of the nursery. And all the beautiful babies sleeping peacefully inside while the nurses bustled around them.

And I felt my eyes start to sting, my throat start to swell. Argh! Again! Why can't I just deal with this?

I had to stop in the hallway outside my sister's room to make sure I was composed. A few deep breaths later I knocked, and went in to meet my nephew.

My brother-in-law was changing a diaper, and I got to enjoy a lovely conversation about how to change a boy's diaper. "I don't know how to wipe him! How do you wipe a boy?" "Just do!" "But how?" "You're a boy! How do you wipe?" "Well, I've never changed a diaper on myself!" All the while with a hand cautiously hovering over the top of him to avoid a shower. It was just what I needed.
Starting off with a laugh made it all ok.

It was so wonderful to visit with my sister and brother-in-law, and to hold that sweet beautiful 7 hours old baby boy. He really is an adorable little thing. Short fuzzy baby chick blond hair-so soft you can barely feel it. His perfect little round head and his beautiful was blissful. My arms were full and warm, and so was my heart. And my little Samuel who had been so quiet all day woke up to give his cousin a few kicks in the back while he occupied my arms! I sat there as long as I could without over staying my welcome. At least I hope I didn't overstay. It was 40 minutes of the most peaceful soothing therapy I've ever experienced.

I was so glad I had gone.

As I walked out and back past the nursery window, there was a little dark haired baby being weighed. It looked just like my babies do. That was hard to see, but made easier by my still overflowing heart. I'm sure being there with my nephew would have been much harder had he looked like my babies; skinny bird legs and dark hair. I've never been more appreciative of squishy baby legs and fuzzy blond hair.

I did better than I thought.

But I'm still grateful that I was wearing waterproof mascara.

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